Chestnut, mushroom and samphire risotto

While I regularly moan about being given risotto in restaurants as the only vegetarian ‘choice’ at the moment, I do still love making it and eating it at home. I just don’t want to eat it every time I go out – especially when I can make a better version at home!

My uncle made this wonderful chestnut, mushroom and samphire risotto for me recently and it was too good to not put on the blog. Vegetarians don’t get to eat samphire very much as it is often used in fish dishes – but give it a go. Samphire has a wonderful salty flavour, so be careful when seasoning this dish.

It’s chestnut season at the moment so don’t buy them, get out there and collect some from your local park.

300g fresh chestnuts (peeled)
100g samphire
1 large leek (or 1 large white onion)
1 garlic cloves
200g chestnut mushrooms
350g risotto rice
A pinch of chilli flakes
1 litre vegetable stock
1tbsp fresh sage
Salt and pepper
75g vegetarian parmesan
Olive oil


In a pan, heat some olive oil to a low-ish heat and add the chestnuts. Lightly fry them with some pepper until they are slightly soft. This will take about 30 minutes.

Slice the leek and garlic and fry them in a large frying pan – a paella pan is perfect. When they have softened, add the mushrooms and cook for about five minutes. Add the rice, chilli flakes, chestnuts and season well. Slowly start incorporating the stock. After about 15 minutes, add the samphire and chopped sage and give it a good stir. Sprinkle the cheese on top and leave it for five minutes so the cheese has melted.

Place the pan on the table and let everyone help themselves.



  1. A lovely, warming seasonal recipe. Like the combination of ingredients.

    You’re right about the ubiquitous risotto vegetarian option, and it’s always galling to sit there eating it and thinking ‘I could have done better than this’. That said, overall I think it’s gradually getting better for vegetarians and there are some places that really do make a decent effort with the veggie option.

  2. I feel exactly the same when I go to a restaurant; I hate ordering something I can make (better) at home. I too live risotto and this sounds and looks amazing. I like the versitility of risotto, you can add anything.

  3. If I cannot get fresh chestnuts, will pre-cooked ones from a packet work too?

    1. Yep – they work just as well 🙂

  4. I had to try this lovely dish and I can say, it’s one the best risotto I’ve tried so far!

    1. Thank you so much!

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